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BUSINESS
March 9, 2014 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: I just received my tax forms from my employer for last year. I was originally a W-2 employee, paid hourly, as a receptionist. But it seems that at some point during the year, my employer changed me to a 1099 employee without telling me or having me fill out paperwork. After researching the characteristics of a 1099 employee, I found I do not qualify at all. I am upset that I will have to pay taxes on this income, since I thought they were being withheld from my pay. Do I have any recourse?
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BUSINESS
March 9, 2014 | By Chad Terhune and Eryn Brown
A pair of new drugs to treat hepatitis C offer a cure for millions of Americans afflicted with the disease - but at a potentially staggering cost to taxpayers and health plans. Until now, therapies for hepatitis C helped only about half of patients and posed numerous side effects, such as flu-like symptoms, anemia or depression. In comparison, clinical trials of Sovaldi and Olysio have shown cure rates of 80% to 90% with far fewer complications. That progress, though, comes at a price.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 6, 2014 | By Veronica Rocha
A Glendale man accused of killing his estranged boyfriend  to collect on his life insurance policy was ordered to stand trial Wednesday on murder charges. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Hayden Zacky ruled that sufficient evidence was presented during a three-day preliminary hearing to move forward with a trial against Hovanes Maskovian, 34, as well his brother Hachik “Kriss” Maskovian, 29, and a friend, 20-year-old Nazaret “Nick” Bayamdzhyan, the Glendale News-Press reported . “I think I am convinced as to what occurred,” Zacky said in a San Fernando courtroom.
NATIONAL
March 5, 2014 | By Noam N. Levey
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration announced Wednesday that some Americans with health insurance policies that don't meet consumer standards set by the president's new healthcare law would be allowed to keep their plans into 2017, three years later than originally envisioned. The delay, which could put off the final cancellation of some health plans until after President Obama leaves office, may have limited practical impact. Senior administration officials, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity, said they believed that only about 1.5 million consumers nationwide currently were covered under such plans, about 500,000 of which were purchased by individuals and the rest by small businesses.
NEWS
March 4, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - In a rare moment of bipartisanship, the House voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to roll back flood insurance rate increases that have devastated many homeowners in coastal communities and dogged lawmakers on the campaign trail. The deal, brokered by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) with a bipartisan coalition of coastal state lawmakers, sailed through the House, 306 to 91, despite protests from conservative Republicans that the changes would add to the national debt. "It is said by the media and others that we cannot work together," Waters said before the vote.
BUSINESS
March 3, 2014 | David Lazarus
There are a lot of really unfriendly consumer contracts out there. But the absurdly worded terms and conditions for AT&T Mobile Insurance, the company's coverage for wireless devices, take corporate meanness to a whole new level. Marianna Yarovskaya thought she was being smart when she recently purchased AT&T's insurance to safeguard the new iPhone 5S she bought before an overseas trip. "With AT&T Mobile Insurance," the company's website says, "you can protect your investment and get a replacement device quickly to keep you connected.
BUSINESS
March 2, 2014 | By Lisa Zamosky
Peter Altschuler's back surgery had been a long time coming. The 66-year-old marketing professional and actor from Santa Monica slipped a disc about 10 years ago, and he's been coping with it ever since. A series of injections kept him pain-free for years, he said, but by 2012 they stopped doing their job. "I was in constant discomfort," he says. His doctors said it was time for surgery. Although old enough to qualify for Medicare, Altschuler held on to an insurance policy he'd had through a professional association before turning 65. As most health plans do, his insurer required him to obtain prior approval for his procedure.
BUSINESS
February 26, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
The massive theft of Target Corp. customer data contributed to a huge drop in fourth-quarter profit as the retailer scrambled to win back the trust of consumers and shore up its hobbled payments system. The Minneapolis-based chain reported that profit was nearly halved from a year earlier to $520 million and revenue slid 5% to $21.5 billion. Target also racked up $61 million in expenses related to the hack, though it expects all but $17 million of that to be covered by insurance.
BUSINESS
February 25, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
Heavy snow and bitter cold in much of the country have caused more than $1.5 billion worth of insurance losses, making this winter among the costliest in decades for the industry, according to a report Tuesday. There have been more than 175,000 claims paid to policyholders for damages such as collapsed roofs, burst pipes, downed tree limbs and auto accidents from Jan. 1 through Friday, the Insurance Information Institute said. Many businesses also have been affected by closures and supply chain interruptions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 18, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO - A protracted political battle over California's medical malpractice law may be coming to a new front: the voting booth. For decades, trial lawyers and consumer groups have railed against limits on certain damages in malpractice cases, arguing that such restrictions deny victims fair compensation for grisly medical mistakes. Insurance companies, doctors and other healthcare providers have been equally vigorous in defending the law, saying it is crucial to controlling costs and maintaining the availability of care.
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